Good drivers know that following various rules is essential for the safety of other drivers and pedestrians. School zones require drivers to be particularly vigilant due to the impulsivity of children. Here are some tips to ensure everyone’s safety when driving through a school zone.
Reduce Your Speed
Most school zones require drivers to reduce their speed to facilitate stopping if a child suddenly runs into the street from between parked cars or without looking for oncoming traffic. Young children may not remember to check for the right of way. Drivers should slow down when approaching a crosswalk to avoid stopping abruptly.
Never Block Crosswalks
If you are approaching a crosswalk, always give yourself enough time to stop your car before you arrive. Blocking a crosswalk in a school zone can encourage children to cross the road by walking behind your vehicle and block their view of other cars that may be approaching.
Never Try to Pass a School Bus
It is illegal for a vehicle to pass a school bus while children are getting on and off because doing so can endanger children’s safety. A school bus always has the right of way while driving or parked. You can expect to run into slow or stalled traffic near a school zone due to children’s presence, and it is best to plan accordingly.
Yield To The Crossing Guard
A crossing guard keeps children safe and instructs them about proper street crossing procedures. If a guard advises you to stop your car in a school zone, do so immediately. If you are not paying attention, the guard may blow a whistle once to alert you. Heeding these warnings and proceeding with caution is necessary for safety in the crosswalk.
Slow Down Near School Bus Stops
When children are waiting for a school bus, they may be talking or playing and not paying attention to their surroundings. It is prudent to slow down as you approach a school bus stop to avoid hitting overzealous children that may lose their balance and fall into the street if distracted by their activities.
Always Turn Your Head When Turning
When you come to a turn, you can’t always rely on your mirror to check for safe conditions. It is still necessary to turn your head to look for children in your blind spot.